“On Your Mark”
Who Do ‘You’ Say That I Am? (Chapter 3 Verses 7-12)
Plan as the murderers will, they are not able to perform their evil deed, because the Lord’s time has not yet come (John 7.30). His withdrawal (v7) is not due to fear, but wisdom. The crowds flock to hear his preaching, he went to them in Galilee (Mark 1.39), but now they come to him, and from many other places too. They were drawn by his works (v8). Of course with hindsight we know that much of this following was superficial, taken up with the supernatural (John 6.2), like so many even today. But when it came down to understanding his teaching, as he unfolded the realities of the kingdom (John 3.3), as he declared the inflexible standards for entrance (Mark 1.15), as it dawned upon their souls the cost of being a true disciple of Christ (Luke 14.25-35; Luke 9.18-27), they were gone (John 6.66). There can be many reasons for popularity, for a Church’s being full, it is not necessarily biblical spirituality (Luke 6.26). It seems the Lord draws these people like a magnet, the pressure of the crowd is so great Jesus employs a boat in order to escape the pressure (v9). The word for diseases (v10), carries the strong idea of divine afflictions (Hebrews 12.6). Did these people see some of their afflictions as being Divine chastisement for the sinful course of their lives? Now we know that that is not always the case (John 9.1-3), but would that more people would think on these terms today? For so many of the ills of our own society today would be removed would they not, if there was a good solid dose of repentance right throughout the nation? Sadly, like so many of these who come to Jesus here, people want to be healed of their diseases, but not their souls cured of sin by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Once more we see the clear distinction between sickness and evil, never are the two mixed (v11). But do you see the submission of the forces of evil before Jesus? O they know who he is all right. But following Satan’s defeat in the wilderness temptations (Matthew 4.11), there is no bargaining, arguing, they know who is the Boss. They do what he tells them. Once again he silences them (v12), for even Jesus himself never directly declared himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God. He left people to draw their own conclusions from what he said and did and when they believed, he substantiated it (John 4.25-26). Who do you say the Son of Man is (Matthew 16.13-20)?